05/20/13 — Meadow Lane ESL students get their stories published

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Meadow Lane ESL students get their stories published

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 20, 2013 1:46 PM

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Anna Chen, 9, receives the book that she wrote in her English as a Second Language class at Meadow Lane Elementary School from Wanda Nieves, ESL lead teacher. Anna's book, "My Story," is about herself and her family. She recently moved to Goldsboro from China.

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Francisco Vasquez, 7, receives his book, "Home Sweet Home," which is about his home, animals and toys.

Meadow Lane Elementary School has 17 new published authors.

English as a Second Language students in Maribeth Interrante's class, representing grades 2-4, recently completed a project to improve their vocabulary and writing skills.

The activity took them from rough draft to final copy, and allowed the students a chance to be both authors and illustrators.

On Friday afternoon, their teacher surprised them with individual hardbound copies of their books.

"You have worked so hard," she told the class. "You're your own author, your own illustrator."

Wanda Nieves, lead ESL teacher with Wayne County Public Schools, helped with the presentation.

"Francisco Vasquez," she said, calling out the first student's name. "You did a great job. Would you like to come get a book?

"Congratulations! You're a published author."

As the students collected their creations and sifted through the pages of the completed books, they shared their thoughts on the project.

"I like to draw," said Diana Ortiz, a third-grader.

The 9-year-old's book was entitled, "My Life" and featured a picture of her pet cat on the cover.

"His name is Rocky and it's a boy," she said.

She had dedicated the book to her parents and was looking forward to presenting it to them.

"My mom's gonna pick me up and I'm going to give it to my mom and dad and it's going to be a surprise," she said with a smile.

The title of Juan Castano-Castillo's book, "City with Graffiti," came after a trip.

"With my dad, we traveled in the car and I saw graffiti in the city," said the fourth-grader.

Turning the pages brought back memories of drawing and writing stories for the book, he said.

He could already imagine how proud his parents would be of the effort.

"This is some hard work and (my mom) she's going to say that, too," he said. "They're going to say that's pretty. They're going to say that's good pictures and you really worked hard."

Saul Martinez was the only student who wrote his book for a sibling, his teacher said. The 10-year-old said he entitled it "Disney World" with his 4-year-old sister in mind.

He recalled how excited she would get any time she saw Disney World on TV and realized that should be the theme for his book cover. Now living apart -- she moved to Maryland with their mother because of a job opportunity -- Saul said he can't wait to be reunited and show his younger sister the book.

She also inspired one of the stories within its pages, entitled "Like a Princess."

"You remind me of a princess because you're pretty," the story said. "You have long black hair and dark eyes. You are just like a princess."